Sal
The Alpaca I love tattoos and I wanted to make the process of finding the right tattoo artist as easy as possible.
6 min read

How to Heal Your New Tattoo: An Aftercare Step by Step Guide

Many people getting a tattoo for the first time miss out to understand that their skin won’t look like the attractive pictures that led them to get the ink right away. Matter of fact, they will be left with a plastic wrapping around a red sore skin with delicate ink that will fall off easily. We will have to say, healing a new tattoo does take some time and effort but is obviously worth it.

So, Where Do You Start?

After your tattoo artist completes the tattoo, they will clean the area with soap and lukewarm water. After that, they will place a material to cover the skin; it can be plastic or something else that the artist prefers. This is to prevent infections from germs entering the open wound.

In some cases, the tattoo artist might also apply an ointment or a lotion before wrapping up your tattoo. That is when their duty ends and your starts.

First Thing to Do After You Go Home from the Tattoo Parlor

Depending on where you got your tattoo, we recommend you to stay in the tattoo studio for up to three hours before you start moving home. During that time, we advice you not to move much - your skin has been hurt and it needs to heal. Then, after arriving home, you can take off the wrap and wash the area with lukewarm water. Remember, you should be very gentle.

How Much Time Does It Take to Heal Your New Tattoo?

Well, the catch is that you are healing your skin rather than the tattoo. Your tattoo will be good when the skin is good. Just like every other part of your body, the time taken to heal your skin depends on your immunity and hygiene. Generally, it might take around 2 to 3 weeks for the skin to heal so that you return to your everyday life. However, it will take two to three months for your skin to be like before.

fresh tattoo

How to Take Care of Your New Tattoo?

Taking a Bath

Always use lukewarm water and special tattoo aftercare soap. Your tattooist will probably recommend one. If not, talk to your pharmacist.

Don’t be harsh while drying the area - gently resting the towel on top of it is enough. Also, you should take a quick shower rather than immersing yourself in a bathtub. Remember that a shower session should not take more than four minutes in the first  days. This also means that you should not swim until the tattoo heals.

Using an Aftercare Lotion

Many people use antibacterial lotions. While it may help with bacterial infections, some tattoo experts are strongly against using it.

Anyway, there are many lotions on the market that have been made specifically for tattoo aftercare. Applying them two to three times a day can speed up the healing process. But don’t overdo it.

Taking Care of the Peeling Skin

Well, you will have scabs and peeling skin. Just make sure that you don’t pull them off. Let them fall themselves.

Remember that pulling scabs or the skin may make your tattoo go bad. It is like tearing a paper in which you wrote something.

Itchy Skin

Having itchy skin after a tattoo is common. It mostly lasts for a week and then will gradually decrease. However, you should not give in on the urge.

Try to keep your mind occupied; think about something else when you feel like your skin is calling you. Sometimes, taking a short shower or gently tapping on the itchy area can help.

About Working Out

As we said, your body is healing. You wouldn’t want to put a lot of stress on your immune system by keeping it too busy.

You should avoid working out for at least a week (ideally two). The gym is also a great place to get infections so there you have another reason to stay away from it for at least the first few days. Also, don’t indulge in sports that get you too tired. Remember, more you take it easy, the faster your tattoo will heal.

About Eating

Just like the advice before, it’s all about help your body healing faster. In this case, eat food that helps your skin heal.

Of course, you will need your vitamins and carbs, but put an extra effort to get more protein. Eat more meat, beans, lentils, eggs, etc. Cut down on junk food.

eating healthy

Wearing Clothes

Now, this could be a challenge if you work. Tattoo experts recommend clothes that cover the tattoo, but don’t touch it.

That might be virtually impossible, but don’t wear any tight fits on the tattoo area. Wearing loose clothing helps you not to ruin your tattoo and heal the skin faster.

While Sleeping

Never lay down on the side you have your tattoo. Of course, you can’t control yourself while you sleep, but try to lay in a position in which you won’t ruin your tattoo even if you move.

If you have an air conditioner on your room, use it. Heavy blankets or quilts are not friendly to new drawn tattoos.

Going Outdoors

The direct sunlight is very harmful to your skin which is repairing after the tattoo. So, try not to expose it directly to the rays.

You should use sunscreens even when in shot exposure times. Again, apply it gently and don’t rub too much. If you have something against sunscreen, umbrellas are the next best option.


Conclusion

Healing a new tattoo mostly consists of not touching the skin area too often. Also, too much of anything; including the sun, water, or even lotions can damage it. You need to be careful but not stressed. Following a few hygienic behaviors for some time will help to accelerate the curing procedure.